The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the gift of the Abe and Charlotte Levitow Collection featuring animation art and related production materials documenting the career of animator Abe Levitow.
Donated in their parents’ honor by the Levitows’ three children, Roberta, Judy and Jon, the collection features animation cels, backgrounds, storyboards, graphic art materials and related film prints—hundreds of items that represent Levitow’s accomplishments as an artist, animator and director for Warner Bros., UPA and MGM, and include his work on features such as “Gay Purr-ee” (1962) and “The Phantom Tollbooth” (1970).
The collection, which will be housed in both the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive, is a significant addition to the Academy’s holdings in the animation field. “We are honored that the Levitow family has entrusted the preservation of their father’s legacy to the Academy’s archivists,” said Margaret Herrick Library Director Linda Mehr, “and you really can’t go wrong when Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are in the mix, can you?”
If you don't know, Abe Levitow was a sizable talent in animation for decades, which is in itself a remarkable thing because Mr. Levitow died at the age of 52 in the mid-1970s.
He was the director of the perennial Christmas tale known as Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. And at the time of his early death at age 52, he was pencilled in to direct the animated feature Raggedy Ann and Andy, a job that ultimately went to Richard Williams.